tv Democracy Now LINKTV May 22, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
05/22/17 05/22/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york this is , democracy now! $110 billion saudi-funded defense purchase, and we will be sure to help our saudi friends to get a good deal from our great american defense companies. amy: on his first overseas trip as president, donald trump signs a $110 billion arms deal with saudi arabia, despite the
kingdom's ongoing atrocities in yemen. we will look at trump's trip to riyadh and his message to the islamic world, as well as the election in iran where president hassan rouhani has been elected in defiance of iranian hardliners. , you, the iranian people, rejected the call of those who wanted to return us to the past and keep us in the same situation as before. and you helped push us forward. amy: plus, we will look at turkey's crackdown on protests -- not just in turkey, but even here in the united states. last week, turkish president recep tayyip erdogan looked on as members of his security detail assaulted a group of peaceful protesters outstside te turkish ambassador's residence
in washington. we will speak with one protester who was hospitalized. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump is visiting israel today as part of his first trip abroad as president. during the two-day trip, he and secretary of state rex tillerson will meet with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu and other top israeli officials. it is tillerson's first trip ever to israel. in a controversial move trump is , also slated to become the first sitting u.s. to visit the wailing wall in jerusalem. trump's visit comes after widespread protests broke out frididay across the israeli occupied west bank after a jewish settler killed a young palestinian on thursday. more than protesters were
100 injured as israeli security forces shot live bullets and tear gas at the thousands of demonstrators. the protests were also in support of the ongoing hunger strikes by palestinians in israeli jails. this morning as donald trump arrived in israel, 200 more prisoners reportedly joined the strike. over the weekend, trump visited saudi arabia, where he signed a series of arms deals totaling a record $110 billion. the arms deal includes tanks, artillery, ships, helicopters, missile defense systems and cybersecurity technology. the deal is expected to total more than $350 billion over the next 10 years. it comes as the pentagon continues to support a saudi-led bombing campaign in yemen, where years of fighting have decimated the countrtry's healalth, water, sewage, and sanitation systems, contributing to a cholera outbreak that has killed at least 300 people and that is threatening to spiral out of control. over 10,000 people have died
since the saudi bombing campaign began in 2015. on saturday, thousands of yemenis rallied in sanaa to prototest the e u.s. arms alal h saudi arabia and trump's visit there. this is yemeni journalist nasser al-rabeey. nowe are here today to say for terrorism, no from eric and terrorism. , youe here to say to trump kill yemeni with saudi hands. theguide isis by supporting saudi regime. amy: a legal expert says the deal with saudi arabia may be legal -- may be illegal under u.s. law because of the saudi bombing campaign's killing of civilians. as trump celebrated the $110 billion arms deal, the saudi pledged 20 been dollar
investment in a private equity firm blackstone group and $100 million donation made along with the united arab emirates to world bank fund for women that was proposed by president trump's daughter and white house adviser ivanka trump. we will have more on trump's visit to saudi arabia after headlines with medea benjamin. on capitol hill, new details emerged friday about the ongoing scandal over president trump's firing of former fbi director james comey, including that president trump called comey a "real nut job" during his meeting with russian foreign minister sergey lavrov and russian ambassador sergey kislyak earlier this month. trump also reportedly told the russian officials -- "i faced great pressure because of russia. that's taken off," referring to comey's firing. comey is slated to testify to the senate intelligence committee after memorial day weekend, which coincides with trump's return from his foreign trip to saudi arabia, israel, and the vatican.
trump had said he would name a new fbi director before departing this past friday, but the appointment has been delayed, in part, because possible candidates keep withdrawing their names from consideration. among those who have withdrawn their names are former fbi official richard mcfeely, south carolina congressman trey gowdy, and former assistant attorney general alice fisher. democrats are objecting to the possible appointment of former democratic senator joe lieberman as fbi director, in part because he currently works for a law firm that frequently represents president trump. meanwhile, the "washington post" is reporting that a current white house official is under investigation for possibly colluding with russian officials to allegedly hack the 2016 election. the white house official has not been named. a number of former trump campaign officials, including former n nional secucurity advir general michael flynn and trump campaign chair paul manafort, are also under investigation. in indiana, more than one
-- 100 students marched out of their graduation ceremony to protest vice president mike pence's commencement speech. pence was chosen as the commencement speaker after thousands of students and professors signed a letter demanding the university not invite president trump. after leaving the official graduation ceremony, protesting students held their own alternative graduation in a nearby park, where they held hands and sang the notre dame hymn. ♪ amy: among their issues was discrimination against muslims. vice president pence is also the former governor and a congressman from indiana. in iraq, more than 50 people
were killed in a string of suicide bomb attacks in the capital baghdad and at checkpoints near the oilfields in the southern province of basra on friday. isis claimed responsibility for the baghdad attacks, which killed at least 19 people. the attacks come as thousands of families continue to flee the fighting in mosul, where the u.s. and u.s.-backed iraqi militaries are battling to retake the city from isis. the united nations says at least 435,000 people have been displaced from western mosul so far. a new report by human rights watch has accused troops allied with the u.s.-backed iraqi military of detaining, interrogating and torturing up , to 100 residents as they fled the fighting in mosul last month. the syrian government says it's taken full control of homs, after thousands of anti-government rebels and residents were evacuated over the weekend. in 2011, homs became known as the capital of the revolution when it was one of the first cities to rise up against
the syrian president bashar al-assad. in iran, president hassan rouhani has been reelected in a landslide. rouhani beat out his challenger, hard-line judge ebrahim raisi, in friday's election, which saw huge turnout across the country. rouhani is credited with negotiating the 2015 iran nuclear deal. he is now vowing to work for the removal of non-nuclear sanctions levied against iran. we will have more on the iranian elections later inin the broadcast. "the new york times" reports the chinese government jailed or killed as many as 20 cia sources in the country between 2010 and 2012. u.s. officials call it the worst intelligence breach in decades. one cia source was shot in public outside a government building in an apparent warning to others who might be working for the cia. "they new york times" reports it's still unknown how the chinese successfully identified so many cia sosources. north korea launched another
medium-range ballistic missile test saturday, only one week after launching a new type of rocket north korea says is capable of strikiking u.s. military bases in the region. the u.n. security cocouncil is slated t to meet tuesdsday to discuss the north h korean nuclr program. in brazil, protesters gathered in cities across the country sunday to demand the resignation of president michel temer, following explosive testimony released by the supreme court friday that accuses temer of accepting millions of dollars in bribes since 2010. on saturday, temer vowed not to resign. but key political groups, including political parties and the influential lawyers association have backed the , impeachment calls. this is president of brazil's workers party rui falclcao at te protest on sunday. peopleover the country, are taking the streets today in defense of direct elections now.
temer's government has ended. there are 14 million unemployed people already. and they amy: in south sudan, the united nations says pro-government forces killed at least 114 civilians in the last six months of last year in and araround the town of yei. the u.n. also accused the pro-government soldiers of raping and torturing civilians. south sudan has been wracked by civil war since 2013, and the u.n. says parts of the country have entered a famine, with 100,000 people at risk of starvatition. back in the united states, billy bush has brokeken his silencnce about the 2005 nbc's "access hollywood" videotape, in which bush is egging on donald trump as trump brags about committing sexual assault.
amy: nbc fired billy bush. he had just become a cohost of "the today show." in his first comment on the tape since its release, bush told "good momorning america" the tae brouought his s 16-year-old daur to tears. >> it was s a powerfulul moment. i now 16-year-old daughter called me and she was in tears. and shshe was really upset. and i s said, mary, it is goingo be ok. don't worry. and she said, no, why were you laugughing at the things he was saying on ththat bus? why were you playing along? i said, mary, i am sorry. and there is no good answer for that.
amy: in washington s state, authoritities are e investigigaa popossiblele nuclear waste leak, after radioactctive mamaterial s found on a workers clothing. this comes less than two weeks after the department of energy declared a state of emergency at the hanford nuclear site after a tunnel storing contaminated radioactive materials collapsed. hanford is the nation's most polluted nuclear weapons production site. to see our full interview on nford whwhen democracy now! ! ws in wasngngton state,e, go to democracynow.o.org. in maryland, the fbi is investigating the murder of an african american student as a possible hate crime after police discovered that his alleged killer was part of a white supremacist facebook group called alt reich: nation. university of maryland student sean urbanski, who is white, has been charged with first-degree murder for fatally stabbing 23-year-old richard collins ii, an african american student at bowie state university who was visiting the university of maryland during graduation weekend.
collins was set to graduate this spring. in ohio, a grand jury has refused to indict white police officer bryan mason for killing 13-year-old tyre king in 2016. king was an eighth-grader who played football and was in the young scholar's program at his school. he was playing with a toy bb gun near his home when officer mason chased him into an alley, allegedly confused the toy gun for a real gun, and then shot the boy repeatedly, killing him. king is at least the second person officer mason has killed over the last five years. and in new orleans, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the removal of a massive bronze statue of confederate general robert e. lee on friday. it was the last of a series of confederate statues the city has removed in recent weeks. workers wore bulletproof vests and face coverinings to conceal their identities as they used a crane to remove e the statue frm a 60-foot-high pedestal.
white nationalists have staged a series of protests and issued threats in the lead-up to the memorials' removals. a car belonging to one of the woworkers had also beeeen set on fire. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are back in new york city. in his first foreign trip abroad as president, donald trump traveleded to saudi arabia this weekend where he sigigned a sers of new arms deals totaling $110 billion. this comes in addition to more than $115 billion in arms deal offered by president obama during his time in office. speaking in riyadh on n sunday, presidident trumump praised the deal. pres. trump: this landmark agreement includes the announcement of a $110 billion sorry-funded the fence purchase -- defense purchase. and we will be sure to help our
saudi friends to get a good deal from our great american defense companies, the greatest anywhere in the worldld. this agreement will help the saudi military to take a far greater role in security and operations having to do with security. amy: the arms deal comes a as te pentagagon continues to supporta saudi-led d bombing campaign in yemen,n, where yearsrs of fightg have decimated the countntry's health, water, sewage and sanitation systems. over 10,000 cicivilians haveve d since the saudi invasion began in 2015. the u.n. says around 19 million of yemen's 28 million people need some form of aid, with many ofof them at risk of famine. trump mentioned yemen twice in his speech but only to first , praise the saudis for their war against the houthis and then to condemn iran for its support of militant groups. the arms deal includes tanks, artillery, ships, helicopters,
missile defense systems and cybersecurity technology. the deal also includes precision guided munitions, which obama administration had stopped selling saudi arabia out of fear they would be used to bomb civilians in yemen. democratic senator chris murphy condemned the arms deal writing in the huffington post -- "by selling the saudis these precision-guided weapons more -- not fewer -- civilians will be killed because it is saudi arabia's strategy to starve yemenis to death to increase their own leverage at the negotiating table. they couldn't do this without the weapons we are selling them." meanwhile, the human rights arm of the american bar association has informed the senate the arms deal may be illegal due to the saudi atrocities in yemen. vanderbilt university law professor michael newton wrote -- "continued sale of arms to saudi arabia, and specifically of arms used in airstrikes, should not be presumed to be permissible."
meanwhile, in another deal reached over the weekend from the saudi kingdom in the united arab emirates announced on sunday they will give $100 million to train a trump's women entrepreneneurs find. to talk more about the significance of trump's visit to saudi arabia, we go now to washington, d.c., to talk to memedea benjamin, cofounder of codepink and author of the book, "kingdom of the unjust: behind the u.s.-saudi connection." she wrote an article last week headlined "10 reasons trump should not strengthen u.s.-saudi ties." welcome back to democracy now! talk about trumps trip to saudi arabia. >> it is appalling to see trump in saudi arabia, amy, touting when$110 billion arms deal you look at the history of how those arms have been used. in talked about their use devastating yemen. we also have the example of them
crushing the democratic uprising in neighboring bahrain using those weapons to fund al qaeda groups in iraq and in syria, and using those weapons internally to crush dissent, particularly in the shia areas, which is happening right now the saudi e that is getting absolutely no price and the united states. so congress does have the right to him and i would say the armsation, to stop these deals. it did not do it under obama. it is time they do it under trump. they will only do it if we the people put pressure on congress to say no weapon sales to the present regime of saudi i arabi. amy: and the fact that these precision guided weapons that president obama, under enormous eace activistsm p and others for selling this to saudi arabia, finally stopped -- the fact that trump has resumed these weapons?
>> yes, he has resumed those weapons will stop again, congress could stop it. you will also probably beginning -- greenlightght where the majority of humanitarian aid comes in. the humanitarian community says that will be catastrophic, so i think once again, we have to put the pressure on congress to say no greenlight for the invasion of that port will step in fact, what we do need is an emphasis on going back to the negotiating table, find a political solution to this crisis in yemen, which is the furthest thing from what president trump wants to do because you could see from his trip to saudi arabia that t this is all about encircling iran, and fleming even further sectctarian violence, which is what the u.s. has been doing by supporting the saudi involvement in yemen. amy: why would the invasion be catastrophic?
>> because this is where the food comes in. 90% of the food in yemen is imported. if they cannot get food into the city, which has already been hampered the saudi bombing of the cranes and by a saudi blockade of vessels coming in -- but if they further destroy the ability to bring humanitarian aid into ththe city, it will result in a full-blown famine. amy: and cholera? the issue of cholera. hundreds of yemenis have now died because of the devastation of the sanitation system. >> half of the medical facilities in yemen have been destroyed. again,n, the s significant -- mt of them by the saudi bombing campaign. you now have an outbreak of chololera that is declared a national catastrtrophe in yemenn where theyey're saying now one t of e every 10 minutes a yemeni s
dying from the effects of cholera. amy: why do you thihink presidet trumump went to saudi arabia first? the first country in the world, his first foreign trip? most president since roronald reagan have visited either canada or mexico as their first foreign trip. >> well, first, think of all of the protests that would have broken out in canada and mexico with trump's appearance. you did not see one protester on the streets of saudi arabia because protesters would be arrested, flogged, beaten, tortured, and the apps -- perhaps beheaded. it was a frilly place for donald trump in that respect. he wants to tell the rep in sales. he talks about in terms of jobs, jobs, jobs back in the u.s. he wants to, between the two to saudi arabia trip to israel, be sending this clear message to
iran. let'ss be clear, the best foreign-policy achievement of the obama adnistrationon was the nuclear deal with iran. this is something that trump may well destroy. amy: speaking to cnn, adam schiff criticized trump's position on human rights in his riyadh speech. >> owes also struck by t the suggestion, and i think this is a broader element of the ministrations policy, that they're going to do besides issues of human rights that what countries do within their own boundaries, we're essentially going to look the other way. oft is not a high priority ours anymore. the promotion of democracy and human rights is going to take a backseat. i think that would be a terrible abdication of our global leadership when it comes to advocating for people who are the subject of persecution or imprisoned or journalist that are thrown in jail or people not allowed to practice their faith. i think it would be a historic mistake for us to walk away from
that. it was some that most pointedly to me when angela merkel can to visit the president when one of the headlines read "the leader of the free world needs donald trump. that is not what we expect of our president and t that needs o be human rights -- human rights need to be, nonetheless, a top prioririty for the good states. amy: the issue of human rights in saudi arabia? >> it was quite ironic when rex tillerson was speaking at a press conference with the foreign of saudi arabia right next to him and said that he hopes the people of iran get the freedoms of speech and association they deserve. a reporter said, what about saudi arabia? he would not answer that question. so this selectivity is just astounding. i think going to a country like saudi arabia that has no free speech, no free association, no national elections, no political
parties, no trade unions, where people like the blogger is imprisoned for 10 years for , where human rights lawyers are imprisoned for 15 years for defending human rights -- it is appalling that trump would go to saudi arabia and not even mention the issue of human rights, much less try to meet with one of the advocates for human rights while he was visiting saudi arabia. amy: i want to go back to some of the comments trump made about saudi arabia during his campaign when he frequently denounced saudi arabia. in a facebook post on june 16, 2016, he wrote -- "saudi arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the clinton foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. hillary must return all money from such countries!" in an interview with the "new york times" last year, trump
also claimed that without u.s. support and protection, "saudi arabia wouldn't exist for very long." during the february 2016 interview with fox and friends, trump accused saudi arabia was behind the 9/11 attacks. ," who blew up the world trade center? it was of the iraqis. a was saudi. open the documents. we want to get bush or somebody javad documents open because, frankly, if you u open the documents, i think you'll see it was saudi arabia. amy: that was trump in february of last year on fox and friends. medea benjamin? >> he said a lot of truthful things during the campaign that now he goes back on as soon as he is president. it is quite astounding to see him in saudi arabia, the very country that is behind the 9/11 attacks, 15 of the 19 hijackers. it is still trying behind the
scenes to stop the ability of 9/11 families to sue saudi arabia in u.s. courts, in fact, has blackmailed the u.s. saying it would pullout $750 billion of investments will stop meanwhile, donald trump is trying to get them to invest more in the u.s. economy so they can continue to blackmail us. amy: and i want to go to another comment he made, going back to donald trump on the campaign trail, at a presidential debate clintoner -- accusing of taking money from saudis. givingmp: saudi arabia $25 million ,qatar, all of these countries. you talk about women and women's rights? these are people who push gays off buildings. these are people that kill women and treat women horribly. and yet you take their money. so i would like to ask you right now, why don't you give back the money that you have taken from
certain countries that treat certain groups of people so horribly? why don't you get back the money? amy: that was donald trump in october in a debate with hillary clinton. in another deal reached over the weekend, the saudi kingdom and united arab emirates saiaid they would give $109 to train the trump's women entrepreneur fund. >> it is the height of hypocrisy. if the saudis wanted to help women entrepreneurs, they should lift the guardianship system that treats women as minors their entire life. they should allow women to drive. they should stop the gender segregation that exist at every level of saudi society from the schools to the business places to places of worship. and to have training trump being meeting was saudi women entrepreneurs and touting this new investment is absolutely ridiculous.
could have met with the women signing petitions, asking for lifting of that guardianship system. she could have been meeting with the women who have them punished for trying to drive. those would be good ways to help women entrepreneurs in saudi arabia. amy: interesting, neither ivanka truck nor melania trump were covered at the events when donald trump spoke. >> it is also interesting they were the only women at the event. you looked out and you saw just a sea of men. so i think there are so manyny things that training or melania trump could have done or said that would show solidarity with the saudi women who are fighting and have in fighting for decades for their rights. and yet, they did not utter a word of support for those women. amy: medea, what role did jared kushner play in making the arms
deal happen? >> right before donald trump's trip, the son-in-law jared kushner was meeting w with the saudis to clinch this deal. in fact, in what was described as a jaw-dropping moment, he picked up the phone to call the head of lockheed martin to negotiate a better deal for the saudis. you wonder whether representative of the united states is trying to get a better deal for the saudis instead of the other way around. but he made sure the deal would be ready by the time donald trump got there to announce the 110 billion-dollar deal. amy: medea, i will ask you to stay with us, medea benjamin, cofounder of code pink, author of "kingdom of the unjust: behind the u.s.-saudi connection." she wrote an article last week headlined "10 reasons trump should not strengthen u.s.-saudi ties." when we come back, she will be joined by trita parsi. stay with us.
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we continue to cover president trump's trip to saudi arabia, i want to turn to his address to dozens of heads of state from across the muslim world sunday when trump was in riyadh. he said they should unite in their fight against terrorisism and battle between "good and evil." pres. trump: this is not a battle between d different sects were different civilizations. this is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people all in the name of religion. people that want to protect life and want to protect their religion. this is a battle between good theevil, but the nations of
middle east cannot wait from eric and power to crush this enemy for them will s stop the nations of the middle east will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves for their country and, frankly, for their families and for their children. it is a choice between two futures. and it is a choice america cannot make for you. a better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. drive them out. drive them out of your places of worship. drive them out of your communitities. drive them out of your holy land. and drive them out of this verse. earth.
trump called on all "nations of conscience" to isolate iran. pres. trump: starving terrorists of their territory from of their funding, and the false allure of the craven ideology will be the them.for easily defeating no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all 3 -- safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. it is a regime t that is respsiblble for so mucuch and stability in that regigion -- instability inin that region. i am speaking, of coururse, of an.. yemen,lebanon to iraq,q, to iran f funds arms s and trains
terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. has fueled thean fires of sectarian conflict and terroror. is a governmenent that speakss openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of israel -- death toto america -- and ruin r thisleaders in nations in very room. amy: we're joined now by trita founder and president of the national iranian american council. he's the author of the new book "losing an enemy: obama, iran, and the legacy of diplomacy," out next week. still with us medea benjamin is , the cofounder of codepink and author of the book, "kingdom of the unjust: behind the u.s.-saudi connection." trita parsi come if you could respond to what president trump just said to his first foreign trip to his first country saudi arabia since becoming president? >> it is quite regrettable after
the rain and people went out and despite all of the andy grammer -- and democratic obstacles they had to choose the most moderate person on the ballot, the person who had vowed to continue to try to open iran of, to continue to try to resolve conflicts in the region, and actually wants a better relationship with the united states. donald trump's response to this is to clinch his fist and call for iran's isolation. i think it is important recognize that this is not just rhetoric. this is not just something that we can dismiss, mindful of the many things that trump otherwise tends to say. we're seeing two building blocks that can lead to an absolute disaster. the combination of the policy of isolation and rejecting diplomacy, together with a policy of regime change -- because in that speech, he also called for regime change -- it's exactly how the iraq war started . there was an990's,
act passed that made regime change in iraq official policy. it was combined with an isolation policy. all it needed was a spark in order for that to lead to a military confrontation. donald trump, perhaps not knowing so, is now laying the groundwork for that type of conflict. at the request of the saudis. amy: i want to get your comment on rex tillerson, secretary of state, saying he hopes rouhani's reelection will be a dismantling of terrorist and the restoration of human rights. the significance of tillerson, of course president trump making these comments from saudi arabia? >> it is fascinating because on the one hand, the administration said we're not going to focus on human rights anymore. but when it comes to trying to find anything to attack iran would, it is being thrown out there again. or he be set from saudi arabia were the human rights situation is worse than in iran, honestly, is not helping the human rights
situation in iran. this is what the hardliners would like. it is so easy for them to dismiss what otherwise is legitimate criticism against iran's human rights record when it is said from riyadh and said with this degree of hypocrisy and double standards. it is undermining the human rights situation in iran when it is done in the matter that rexx titillersoson did it. amy: i would like to turn to a 2009 diplomatic cable released i wikileaks on saudi arabia. the cable, which was written by then secretary state hillary clinton, said -- "donors in saudi arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to sunni terrorist groups worldwide." the cable went on to urge senior u.s. government officials to "encourage the saudi government to take more steps to stem the flow of funds from saudi arabia-based sources to terrorists and extremists worldwide." trita parsi? > this trip is not about fighting terrorism. if it was, we would have actually seen much firmer
position by the united states against these funders in saudi arabia who actually also provided the seed funding for isis. instead, all of the focus is on air ran. why is that? is beyond for this the fact the trump administration is securing these arms deals come is that there are elements in the trump administration and certainly people in saudi arabia and in israel who want the united states to once again adopt the hegemony in the united states. they want the us to be completely responsible for the security of the middle east, meaning the u.s. will have to uphold it and pay for it through some treasure and blood, which would obviously then benefit israel and saudi arabia and some of those states that are allied with them. this puts the u.s. in direct confrontation with iran, who opposes american hegemony in the region. the question that is not being asked and washington, d.c., is if one were to assume there is such a benefit of hegemony, what
is the benefit for the united states in a region this chaotic? what is the benefit of being responsible for the security of the middle east when it is in such chahaos? and what would the cost of that the? those are questions that are not being asked. all of the focus tends to be how many potential jobs $300 billion of arms sales can provide. it will only lead to further destabilizing the region, which than the united states would be responsible for. the cost benefit analysis of this makes absolutely no sense, but the question is early discussed. amy: new senate sanctions agaiainst iran are scheduled toe marked up in committee this week. what is your message to congress in the wake of the iranian election? >> as a senate bill stands right now, it actually is a violation of the iran nuclear deal from 2015. i think it would be highly problematic if members of
congress, particularly on the democratic side, vote for this, arguing this is not a dealbreaker, something that -- -- and in the common nation with what trump is doing would further put us on a cap tort a military confrontation with iran. they don't have the ability to say, we did not think this would lead to this as they could've so when they voted in favor of the iraq liberation act or later on when they voted in favor of the iraq war. it is very clear what this bill will do as it stands right now. i think the message to congress from the american people have to be absolutely clear. they supported in new clear deal. the nuclear deal is more popular amongst the american public than it was two years ago because they have seen networks. it would be a disaster if congress, particularly if democrats who fossil hard to save this deal, now pull the trigger and kill it. amy: and the people's response in a range of the election of rouhani, what you think this means? >> iran is one of the very few
countries, certainly the region, perhaps beyond the region got in which the population three times in a row have voted in the most moderate person that existed on the ballot. very few countries in the region can say this. if you take a look at israel, the last time the moderates won a landslide was in 1992. for them to now see the reaction by the united states to this election result, election results very much about continuing the outreach to the west and continuing the outreach to the u.s., is deeply disappointing, to say the least. i have spoken to a few people who felt jubilant mood after rouhani's victory suddenly took a turn for the worst once they are donald trump's speechch in riyadh. medea benjamamin amy:medea beamamin, the ramping up of tension with iran and we sit with north korea as well, and president trump, not that he was
that different from president obama, or was he, when it came to saudi arabia echoes how many trips to president obama make to the kingdom, something like four trips? >> not only travel to saudi arabia, but authorized 42 different deals totaling $115 billion. but on the other hand, he started at the very end of his eight years to reconsider to pull back u.s. support for the saudi bombing in yemen, to put a hold on some of those weapons. and now that donald trump is doing the opposite. i want to say, amy, the people of the middle east are desperate for solutions and the people of the united states do not support continued u.s. involvement in the wars in the middle east. donald trump said he needed a good relationship with russia to start dealing with the problems in places like syria. he also needs a good relationship with iran. i think our message should be that we need to stop the proxy wars between saudi arabia and
iran and the middle east. we need these countries of the region to all come together. and donald trump be focusing on finding solutions, not inflaming the tensions also amy: medea benjamin, thank you for being here cofounder of , codepink and author of the book, "kingdom of the unjust: behind the u.s.-saudi connecection." we will link to your piece "10 , reasons trump should not strengthen u.s.-saudi ties." founder andrsi , president of the national iranian american council. he's the author of the new book "losing an enemy: obama, iran, and the legacy of diplomacy," out next week. when we come back, you may have seen the video of protesters, not in turkey, but in washington, d.c., being beaten by security guards, pummeled, kicked in the face. a number of them were hospitalized. well, we will talk about what happened and what will happen to the turkish ambassador. some are calling for him to be
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we end today show looking at turkey's crackdown on protest, not in a grid or his double, but in the u.s., last week the turkish president erdogan security detail assaulted a group of peaceful protesters outside the turkish ambassador's residence. video from the scene shows turkish president erdogan looking during the assault. it is not clear if he gave the order for the attack. among those assaulted by the turkish security detail were american diplomatic security officers, police briefly detained the assailants, but released them after learning they held diplomatic iunity. the assault cameme shortly after erdogan was welcomed to the
white house by president trump. during the meeting, trump did not mention turkey's deteriorating human rights situation, which has seen nearly 50,000 people and 150 journalists arrested since a failed coup last summer.situatiy on sunday, secretary of state rex tillerson announced the clash.clash -- filing >> we did call the investor turkey to discuss what occurred and to express our view that this is unacceptable. there is an ongoing investigation. i think we will wait to see what the outcome is that we have expressed our dismay at what occurred at the turkish embassy. for more, we go to washington, d.c., where we are joined by by two guests, both eyewitnesses to last week's violence outside the turkish ambassador's residence. seyid riza dersimi was violently attacked during the protest and rushed by ambulance to the for hospital where he received stitches on his nose and was treated for a head injury. his assailants knocked out one of his teeth and loosened
several others. dersimi is a businessman who has been a u.s. citizen since 1992. and we are joined by ruken isik, a kurdish activist and phd student at the university of maryland, baltimore county. she attended last week's protest and wrote a piece for the huffington post headlined "will , erdogan's thugs face no consequences for attacking u usn u.s. soil?" i want to welcome you both to democracy now! seyid riza dersimi, tell us what happened to you. >> we went to attend [indiscernible] we went to the turkish embassy .ouse to protest we wanted him to hear our voice. as soon as we get there, the the d.c. we followed
police orders. the d.c. police sent as across the street. ,hen we were there, right away people in front of the turkish embassy's house, they start to curse as and use "f" words. our slogan is very peaceful. it is not violent whatsoever. we were demanding peace in turkey. this is our slogan stop as long as they are baby killers, isis send, please, president trump, stop iran. iran is attacking the kurds. the turks fight kurds. to rent to hear our voice. that is the reason we were there. later,d to 15 minutes
first they attacked and then police stopped them post up some civilians attacked and police stopped them. five or 10 minutes later, bodyguards has to be police block-- passed the police and they attacked us very barbaric lee. the first i remember, there was a woman next to me who is a representative in washington. they started punching. i tried to cover her head. all of a sudden, three or four of them attacked on me and i on the street. then they were kicking, one after another, my head. i tried to get up, but they were kicking me so i realized i cannot post up i laid down on the floor and i tried to cover my head with my arm.
i could have died. i don't know how long i stay there. i lost it. and then all of a sudden, i relate no one around me -- i realized no one around me. i tried to get up was that i felt i was bleeding. then some police officers, they came and raised me up and moved me toward the circle. amy: i want to ask seyid riza , what didruken i isik you see that sunday in front of the turkish ambassador's house? iraq like five minutes later. there were two attacks. the first one happen when i was already there. it was like five minutes after that. my friend seven-year-old daughter was crying when she saw me. i took her and with my son, four years old, i took them behind 10 people. i was trying to soothe her.
then i saw this man dressed in black rushing into my friends. i thought, no, they will not come at us. the police. them. but then they came close to me. they grabbed one of my friends. you may have seen her photo in the media. he was put -- i feel guilty because i could not protect them because i had my four-year-old son. i was there with my son because we have been to the protest in d.c. for a long time. i have been here for like 10 years. i take them to every protest. we never got involved in any violence. -- it is usual to take the kids. my friend was punched by one of
these men in black suits. i tried to run away in the opposite direction, and i saw those adorable in. later i realized it was the kenyan embassy. i asked them, can i come in? they said comey or say. the american police are here. i said, they cannot protect us. videos, theyg the could not because they were outnumbered. theink they had guns, bodyguards had guns. i'm sure the state police were startled. they could not do anything. these security? , , newly, erdogan publhed d video shshowerdogagan looking on as members of h his security detail assault t the group of peaceful protesters. what are you calling for now? did you see erdogan looking on? i i did not see him, but
would not be surprised if he gave the order because he is the person who is calling all the shots in turkey. everything ine of turkey, not just the politics, but the judiciary. he is the head of the universities. he is everything in turkey. so i would not be surprised if he gave the ordeder. amy:y: hhas just e extended the state of emergency in turkey on sunday, ruken isik. what are you calling for now? the men who were arrested, apparently, have diplomatic immunity so they were released. what are you demanding? on fox, they asked tillerson, chris wallace asked tilillersons the u.s. would be expelling the turkish ambassador and secretary of state tillerson said there needs to be an investigation. >> well, i want to say this is
not the first time his bodyguards are attacking protesters. this happened in a quarter last year and happened at the in 2016. institute basically, they get away with it. i guess they think they can do whatever they want and other countries. they do that in turkey. violence wey this witnessed on tuesday, we can take it as a representation of the turkish state wide. but the scale of it, the amount of violence we witnessed was nothing to be compared to the once people are having on a day-to-day basis in turkey. yes, they can call for the expulsion of the ambassador. i think they should do something. this new government, especially he isump, the president, more patriotic. this happened on american soil.
i hope they will do something. they need to do something, actually. they get away with that. they get away with it in ecuador. that means this is a recurring thing that is happening. amy: ruken, do you think trump's position on turkey, calling when you're was condemning the referendum t that erdogan push through that would increase his dictatorial powers, do you think trump is influenced by mike flynn,'s former national security advisor, who turned out lobbyistsid foreign for the turkish government? >> i think that -- sorry. amy: go ahead. >> they basically have links with f flynn, we saw that, but -- they do nots want to upset turkey.
this is how i see it. because they think it is an important ally in the middle east. i d don't t think they want to k their ties with turkey. amy: seyid, do you plan to protest erdogan anymore after you were brutally attacked and hospitalized? >> absolutely. absolutely. whenever i have a chance. i'm not going to give it up. i am an american citizen. i have a right, first amendment, to protest and have a peaceful protest whenever or wherever we want. mr. erdogan, i cannot take away as a kurdish from turkey. this happens in turkey, should happen that should not happen in turkey, either. amy: we have five seconds. >> as an american citizen, it is not acceptable. it i is not acceptable amy: seyid riza dersimi zinke for being with us, and ruken isik, they can for joining us.
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